As they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
After becoming the subject of ridicule following an opening weekend in the U.K. in which it attracted a solitary cinemagoer (a debut of $8.20), the Shia LaBeouf starrer Man Down experienced something of a midweek surge.
As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, two additional tickets had been sold at the one theater showing the film (and only once a day), the Reel Cinema in the town of Burnley. This figure had reportedly risen to five by Wednesday evening.
THR has since learned that the theater's final screening on Thursday attracted a few more punters.
"There were about eight of us in there," says Andrew Robinson, a Burnley resident who went to the 12:20 p.m. showing with his daughter, Amy. In fact, it was his daughter who was behind the visit, not the international media attention.
"She's a big fan of Shia LaBeouf," he tells THR. "She saw him doing one of his performance art things in Liverpool."
As for the film, Robinson didn't think it warranted the negative press. "I had a quick look at the reviews and wasn't expecting much. But it was quite good," he says.
It should be noted that Man Down's rather limited release - a considerable factor in its low box-office haul - can be explained by its simultaneous on-demand availability by U.K. distributors Signature Entertainment. Such token theatrical showings can boost digital downloads and help generate reviews. Sadly there's no way of seeing how the film - which also stars Gary Oldman, Jai Courtney and Kate Mara - did online, with digital downloads not released by distributors.
While Man Down was generating countless headlines, its main star seemed to have other things on his mind. According to TMZ, LaBeouf was thrown out of an L.A. bowling alley Wednesday evening after calling a bartender a "f - ing racist."
THR has reached out to both Reel Cinema and Signature Entertainment to get Man Down's final U.K. box-office figures. Both declined to speak.